Police in Turkey have detained 113 people and captured another 709 wanted criminals after conducting nationwide raids on illegal gambling dens on Saturday.
The nationwide crackdown involved more than 28,000 officers and 20,000 venues, including coffee houses, office buildings and various other known hangouts for unlicensed gaming and wagering operators.
Fines were issued to 325 establishments and 1,646 people, while 77 places of work were closed after it was discovered they were hosting casino games.
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The Turkish government banned most forms of gambling in 1998, yet it remains a popular pastime in the predominately Muslim nation.
Underground casinos and sports betting businesses often pose as associations or unions, changing their company names and bases of operation on a regular basis in a bid to avoid detection.
While operators and host venues are often charged with criminal offences, punters tend to escape with relatively small fines due to some grey areas in Turkey’s gambling legislation.
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